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Game 6 – 6:00 ET, AHL Live, (STJ leads series, 3-2)
After playing three straight overtime games in northeastern Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and St. John’s take their series back to Newfoundland for Game 6 tonight with the host IceCaps looking to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals… The Penguins have already staved off elimination once, getting a goal from Simon Despres (1-1-2) at 12:08 of the second overtime period on Tuesday night… Paul Thompson (1-1-2) and Alex Grant (2-4-6) also scored for the Penguins in Game 5, Ben Street (1-2-3) notched two assists and Brad Thiessen (5-5, 2.07, .906) made 26 saves… Jason King (2-3-5) and Paul Postma (1-6-7) scored and Eddie Pasquale (6-3, 2.05, .932) stopped 42 shots for St. John’s, which was outshot 45-29 on the night… Eric Tangradi (4-3-7) has a point in four straight games for the Penguins, totaling 3-2-5 in that span… Wilkes-Barre has scored more than three goals in a game just once this postseason (Game 2 vs. Hershey, a 7-2 win); St. John’s has allowed more than three only once (Game 2 at Syracuse, a 4-3 loss)… The Penguins are now 16-10 all-time when facing playoff elimination, including 2-0 this year.
Game 6 – 7:30 ET, AHL Live, NHL Home Ice Radio (NOR leads series, 3-2)
Norfolk can close out the first best-of-seven series win in franchise history tonight with a victory over visiting Connecticut… The Admirals are 0-7 all-time in best-of-sevens, and had never won as many as three games in a best-of-seven set before taking Game 5 from the Whale on Wednesday night, 4-0, in a contest played at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport… Alexandre Picard (6-6-12) scored twice in the Game 5 victory, and his six playoff goals now match his output from the 2011-12 regular season (42 games played)… Ondrej Palat (3-1-4) and Pierre-Cedric Labrie (3-2-5) had a goal and an assist each on Wednesday and Jaroslav Janus (2-1, 2.03, .925), in his first start since Game 2 of the first round vs. Manchester, made 22 saves for the first Norfolk shutout of the postseason… The Whale fell to 2-8 all-time in Game 5’s of a best-of-seven series that is tied 2-2… The Admirals’ three wins in the series have come in three different cities (Norfolk, Hartford, Bridgeport).
Game 5 – 8:00 ET, AHL Live, (OKC leads series, 3-1)
A bit of AHL history by Chris VandeVelde has Oklahoma City on the verge of a trip to the Western Conference Finals with a 3-1 series lead over San Antonio… VandeVelde (3-0-3) scored 65 seconds into overtime last night, giving the Barons a 2-1 win and becoming only the second player ever to score sudden-death overtime goals in back-to-back Calder Cup Playoff games within the same series… Defenseman Jim Wiemer scored consecutive OT goals for Rochester against New Haven during the 1983 postseason… The second-year pro VandeVelde now has a goal in three straight games after being held without a point over the Barons’ first five playoff games… Game 4 was scoreless until Hunter Tremblay (4-1-5) broke the stalemate 10:56 into the third period… Bill Thomas (5-4-9) answered for the Rampage a little more than four minutes later… After combining for 19 goals in the first two games of the series, Oklahoma City and San Antonio have scored six goals in the last two… Oklahoma City is the fourth team in AHL history to win three straight overtime games in the same series, joining the Binghamton Senators (2011 vs. Manchester), the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (2001 vs. Hershey) and the Cleveland Barons (1956 vs. Pittsburgh).
The 2012 IIHF World Championships, taking place in Helsinki and Stockholm, feature 140 American Hockey League graduates on the 16 national team rosters, including 16 players who skated in the AHL during the 2011-12 season… Justin Faulk (Charlotte) scored the overtime winner and Richard Bachman (Texas) made 17 saves in the United States’ 3-2 win over Kazakhstan today… Konstantin Pushkarev had a goal and an assist and former AHL All-Star Vitaly Kolesnik made 47 saves in the loss… 2005 Calder Cup champion Patrick Sharp (1-4-5) owns a share of Canada’s team scoring lead through four games… Sweden’s Loui Eriksson, who scored 31 goals as a rookie with the AHL’s Iowa Stars in 2005-06, leads the tournament in scoring with 3-4-7 in four games.
By the Numbers
7 – Teams in AHL history who have won Games 6 and 7 of a Calder Cup Playoff series on the road… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Connecticut and San Antonio will all have to join that list if they want to advance to this year’s conference finals.
8 – Players in AHL history who have scored two sudden-death overtime goals in the same series… Before Chris VandeVelde for Oklahoma City this week, the last to accomplish the feat was Alexandre Giroux during a 2007 postseason with Hershey (vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton).
On This Date
May 11, 2010 – Jamie Benn scores 4:57 into overtime as Texas, which trailed 2-0, 4-2 and 5-4, grabs a 6-5 win at Chicago in Game 7 of the West Division Finals.
May 11, 2007 – Tomas Fleischmann records five points (1g, 4a) and Alexandre Giroux scores his second overtime goal of the series as Hershey advances to the conference finals with a 7-6 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
May 11, 2003 – Raffi Torres, Michael Ryder and Jarret Stoll score and Francois Beauchemin records an assist to lead Hamilton to a 3-2 win over Manitoba in Game 7 of their North Division finals at Copps Coliseum.
May 11, 1997 – Jean-Francois Labbe makes a franchise-record 62 saves and Blair Atcheynum scores 42 seconds into the third overtime period as Hershey staves off elimination with a 3-2 win over Philadelphia in Game 6 of their division final series.
May 11, 1993 – Despite being outshot 63-37, the Springfield Indians (25-41-14 in the regular season) get a three points from Michael Nylander and the winning goal from Paul Cyr to take the Northern Division finals with a 6-5 overtime victory in Game 7 at Adirondack.
May 11, 1979 – The Maine Mariners win their second consecutive Calder Cup, wrapping up a four-game sweep with an 8-4 win over New Haven.
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